Why am I posting a picture of a bin full of unused samples? This stash had been sitting on my dressing table for months but, tempted as I was to try them out, I finally relegated them to the trash. Why? Read on…
A while ago a friend shared some beauty advice she had been given. At a dinner party (I know, retro) a plastic surgeon imparted one of his top anti-ageing tips: NEVER spray perfume on your décolletage. He said the alcohol in perfume was incredibly ageing and it contributed to that wrinkly crepe skin we develop there as we age. Instead he suggested spraying behind the ears – where the staples would go, one suspects – or on the inside of the wrists.
But it got me thinking. As an avid label reader, I’ve seen alcohol in loads of skincare products, natural ones included. Should I be avoiding those too? Surely they wouldn’t market an anti-ageing product with an ingredient that actually aged the skin? (Sense the sarcasm…)
I started looking into it and one of the best articles I found was on the website Paula’s Choice. Their piece ‘Alcohol in Skincare: The Facts’ is a must read. In it they explain the difference between fatty alcohols (cetearyl alcohol, for example), which are good, and ethanol (such as alcohol denat.). Bad. Big bad.
And since then I’ve tried to avoid bad alcohols in my skincare*. Apart from anything they are massively drying. And, as the article above explains, one of the reasons they are often added to products is because alcohol gives formulas that light-soaks-in-easily feel. So it’s all a bit of a con. Maybe a small amount of alcohol isn’t going to cause a big issue. But if you have sensitive, dry skin like mine and you’re not up for a bit of premature ageing from an ingredient you can happily avoid, I’d skip it.
I’ll be following up this piece with reviews of some great alcohol-free alternatives, from toners to fake tans, so make sure you follow me using the link below.
*I make an exception for Incognito mozzie repellent. Well worth throwing caution to the wind for.